Out with the old, in with the new!
No one knows what the future holds, but if we look at trends that are in motion today, we can often get a bit of a preview. Many times, people will discuss trends one at a time, but for this post, we thought it would be interesting to discuss opposing trends two at a time. Each of the forces described below are part of the push and pull that will influence small business marketing significantly in the coming year.
New: Live-streaming remotely
New technology has made it incredibly convenient to live-stream events to your target market. This lets people become a part of your events in real time no matter where they are. But at the same time, people are also reacting to an increasingly technological, impersonal world by wanting to have more authentic, in-person experiences without the intermediation of technology.
When it comes to marketing, the answer will be to cater to both groups. Don’t use technology to screen yourself off from customers and pursue online-only marketing. Offer the personal touch where possible to keep the human element intact.
New: Everything on demand
Old: Slow, handcrafted
Nowadays, people want things instantaneously. Unfortunately, if your company expects patience from its customers, you soon won’t have any. This doesn’t apply universally, however. Many consumers are willing to embrace delayed gratification when the quality of the ultimate product or service is high, or is from a small, local provider. The key, essentially, is to deliver an added benefit if you’re going to do things in a consciously slow manner.
If you choose this approach to your business, you may want to experiment with including that fact in your marketing materials. In an era where everyone is touting how fast they can get things done, the slow, traditional company sometimes can still win out.
New: Content marketing
Old: Direct marketing
Uploading how-to videos, posting guides to your blog, and other forms of content marketing are fairly effective ways to generate new business. Being overly spammy and shilly, however, can turn off your audience. This means that sometimes, it’s better to focus on direct marketing, rather than trying to be cute and hiding the ball. Keep a close eye on how your marketing efforts are received, and focus on what works best for your business.
New: Data analysis
It’s possible to capture more information about your business than ever before. But getting too caught up in making all decisions by data analysis can be harmful to your business. Sometimes, data is misleading. And computers don’t always have the feel for a situation that a person does. While you’re exploring all that becomes possible with innovative marketing data analysis in 2014, don’t forget that an algorithm can’t tell you everything. It’s a tool, just like any other, and should be used wisely.
Nothing is restraining the mobile trend right now – people are increasing their usage of mobile devices every day as limitations are eliminated and obstacles are removed. They’re spending more time browsing, shopping, socializing, and doing everything that can be done with a computer, on their mobile devices. As this trend continues to expand in 2014, focus your marketing efforts on the mobile web and mobile apps, and you’ll be riding a rising tide.